article / 20 Jan 2022

UP/UPC Update: The UPC Agreement may enter into force already in the autumn of 2022

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Austria has triggered the entry into force of the Protocol of Provisional Application of the UPCA (PPA), by depositing its instrument of ratification on 18 January 2022. Since Austria’s consent to the PPA constitutes the thirteenth member state to consent, the depositary General Secretariat of the Council of the EU has declared that the PPA has entered into force on 19 January 2022 (se here).

This means that the UPC has now been established as an international organization and that the practical preparations for a functional UPC has been initiated. This includes adopting secondary legislation, completing the IT systems such as the electronic case management system (currently in beta, see here) and appointing judges to the UPC.

The UPC Preparatory Committee has reaffirmed that it expects the Provisional Application Period to last at least eight months. The UPCA will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month of Germany’s UPCA ratification (which is the last remaining UPCA ratification required). Germany is expected to ratify the UPCA once it is clear, from the preparations during the provisional UPCA application, that the UPC will be operational at the day of UPCA entry into force.

In other words, the UPCA may enter into force already in the autumn of 2022.

Patentees and their competitors should prepare for the opportunities and challenges the UPC system will bring to the table. Setterwalls stands ready to assist and represent clients on strategic matters and litigation related to the UPC.

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